As with anything on the Internet, I suspect there will be someone out there that will be, for lack of a better word, butthurt about my little endeavor here. So I figure I’ll explain myself here, and also to people who don’t understand what it is I mean when I make reference to Comic Con Pervs, because they’ve never been to a con.
So, REAL TALK:
I started going to Comic Con in 5-6 years ago. My boyfriend and I are exhibitors. Let me set the stage for those of you who have never been: it takes place every year in the San Diego Convention Center. The hall is enormous. It’s cavernous and dark and dank and cold, and each year I fear a catastrophic earthquake that will result in tens of thousands of people in various costumes trampling each other to death in an attempt to escape the collapsing roof. If you’re claustrophobic or agoraphobic, you will not survive. It’s thousands and thousands of people (I need an accurate number for the hall’s capacity but I think it’s over 20,000) milling about in congested aisles as they peruse toys, comic books, get autographs, test new video games and so forth.
So something that’s big is, yes, costumes. It goes beyond dudes dressed as Batman (though rest assured, there are a shitload of those dudes), and the ladies get in on the act. It’s like Halloween. For four days. Why not, right? Besides, if you want to be a random chick from that obscure anime that came out 6 years ago for Halloween, no one might get it. But, if you take that costume to Comic Con, you’ll not only be recognized, but your taste will be validated by people taking your photo or congratulating you. From that comes a sense of community, and it’s fun for me to watch from behind my table.
But this is where the pervs come in— Take for instance, the Sailor Moon cosplayer I saw the first year. She was quite cute and her skirt was the appropriate length (read: tiny as hell) for the character. Someone stopped her in the aisle as I was walking back to my table, and snapped a photo. She smiled warmly and turned to walk away in front of me. I suddenly became aware of two guys quickly shuffle up behind her, stick their camera phones underneath her skirt, take photos, and disappear. I whipped my head around in shock but by the time I turned towards her, she was gone in the crowd. “Holy shit,” I thought, “what creeps”. Except that wasn’t the only time that happened. No man, that happened over and over all day, every day. I saw it in various places— the most blatant thing I saw were guys sitting on the floor training video cameras up the steep, steep escalator in the front, undoubtedly zooming in when a girl in a short skirt rode up. There are thousands of people shoulder to shoulder milling about that hall, so there’s plenty of time for someone to train their iphone or digital camera on your ass while you’re facing the other direction.
I’ve said things to guys before, but they typically act like they don’t hear me and duck away. My boyfriend reminded me of the time I loudly started yelling at some guys for pulling the upskirt-camera-trick on an unsuspecting girl while we were waiting for a trolly to pass outside the convention center. They basically ran away in fright.
And, in case you’re one of those people who wants to pull the “they’re asking for it” card, fuck that. Would I wear a short skirt in a crowd? No. Not anymore; I’ve been groped in public by a stranger when I did. That happened years ago, and I learned you can’t trust other people not to be assholes. I didn’t ask for that anymore than a girl in a costume at the convention—whether she’s paid to be there to promote something or is there as an attendant— is asking a mouth-breather she doesn’t know to stick a flipcamera up her skirt and take grainy photos to spank it to later.
I just think that it’s time for someone to catch the dudes in the act. If they’re too pathetic to make eye contact with a woman but will sneak up behind her and take a photo of her ass, or “accidentally” touch her there, then there’s no reason in the world why I shouldn’t take a photo of them in the act and post it publicly. You can’t get away with that shit at the mall, so why should you get away with it at a comic convention?
To paraphrase Uncle Ben: “With a great cameraphone comes great responsibility.” Nerds, you know better! Behave or it’ll be your pasty face on this tumblr!
Those of you with appropriate social skills that are going to SDCC, join me, won’t you? Let’s shame the hell out of some dudes; if you catch shady behavior, you can submit it here.